William Frank Mooney Jr.

William Frank Mooney Jr.

William Frank Mooney Jr.

William Frank Mooney Jr., of Glenrock, Wyoming, who loved his family, farming, and horses, died on July 13, 2020, after a brief illness. He was 92.
“It’s the way you ride the trail that counts; here’s a happy one for you …,” his family wrote in a tribute.

Mr. Mooney was born March 23, 1928, in Passaic, New Jersey, the son of W. Frank and A. Marie (née Due) Mooney. “As a boy,” his family wrote, “he frequented the nearby Mooney Brothers Dairy farm in Flanders, New Jersey, run by his uncles.

“He served in the United States Navy from 1945 to 1946, including on the USS New Jersey. After graduating with a degree in agriculture from the University of Vermont, he began a master’s degree program at Cornell University.

“His plans changed, however, when he met Cooperative Extension agent Jean Hall, whom he would marry in 1955.  Their marriage lasted for 65 years, ending only with his death.

“In 1959, they purchased a 60-acre farm on Larry Hill Road, outside of Gallupville, New York. Though he traveled the Northeast for American Cyanamid during the week, Bill and Jean spent weekends completely renovating and redecorating their 13-room, 1870s-era farmhouse.  He did all the carpentry, refinishing, and repair work. During the 1960s, there was always sawdust someplace in that house.

“He enjoyed farming. He liked having quarter horses around, and there were many over the years. A small herd of grass-fed beef cattle roamed the pastures. With his kids enlisted, fixing fence was a spring ritual, baling hay occupied the summer, and putting in firewood was an annual fall activity.

“Bill and Jean also found time to pack up the four kids in the Travelall, hitch it to their Airstream trailer, and set off on camping adventures somewhere between Canada and Carolina’s Outer Banks.

“Bill was a masterful gardener and grower, planting and tending his favorite sweet corn, vegetables, raspberries, and fruit trees. He designed, planted, and harvested a side yard apple orchard that could fill a fruit cellar.

“He was fond of bringing his grandchildren along for tractor rides and apple picking. He built a greenhouse addition that provided year-round gardening.  In later life, a row of healthy tomato plants would make him particularly happy.

“During the 1970s, he was a member and president of the Schoharie Central School Board of Education.  He was a councilman for the Town of Wright. His career as a technical sales representative for American Cyanamid spanned four decades.

“After his retirement, he and Jean traveled to visit family and memorable destinations. At home, he focused more on woodworking, turning out some beautiful pieces. They were well-established on Larry Hill, with many good friends and neighbors.

“But by 2003, Bill and Jean were restless and looking west, clearing out the farmhouse and barns, and moving to ‘the ranch,’ 20 acres on the banks of the North Platte River. They made good friends there as they worked on home improvements and beautified their yard. Their move to Wyoming provided his family new opportunities to explore the West.

“Bill Mooney was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, sailor, farmer, horticulturist, horseman, salesman, carpenter, mechanic, and one savvy, tough individual.  

****

He is survived by his children, Sarah, Cynthia, Joel and his wife, Jeanne, and William, and by his grandchildren, Frances, Sarah, John, Amanda, Stacey, and Marisa.

His parents, W. Frank and A. Marie (née Due) Mooney, died before him, as did an infant brother, David.

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